The Eucharist: The Church’s Source of Unity

Authored by Dr. Alan Schreck in Issue #31.3 of The Sower

Alan Schreck completes his explanation of the Encyclical Letter, ‘Ecclesia de Eucharistia’, highlighting John Paul II’s teaching on the Eucharist as a source and deepening of communion with the Trinity and with each other in the Church.

Here we conclude our study of Pope John Paul II’s final encyclical letter, Ecclesia de Eucharistia (on the Church and the Eucharist) published on Holy Thursday, 2003.

Chapter IV of the encyclical focuses on the central theme of the Second Vatican Council: communion. The entire purpose of God’s saving design is to bring humanity back into loving communion with himself and with each other after the original sin disrupted and broke this communion.

The Eucharist is one of the great gifts God has provided to restore and deepen our communion with God and with each other. As the Pope observes: ‘It is not by chance that the term “communion” has become one of the names given to this sublime sacrament… The Eucharist thus appears as the ­­­­culmination of all the sacraments in perfecting our communion with God the Father by identification with his only-begotten Son through the working of the Holy Spirit’ (no. 34). In response to this great gift, the Holy Father urges us to cultivate a constant desire for the Eucharist. He affirms St. Teresa of Avila’s practice of making a ‘spiritual communion’ if one cannot attend Mass (34).

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!


This article is from The Sower and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of Maryvale Institute. Contact sower@maryvale.ac.uk

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Leisure in the Life of the Christian
By Simone Rizkallah
Free The first time I read Josef Pieper’s book Leisure: The Basis of Culture, I felt I had finally encountered the philosophical and theological categories to explain the discomfort I felt in a culture obsessed with nonstop activity, imagery, and noise. Perhaps also being a first-generation American, with a Middle Eastern sensibility of leisure, I felt... Read more
Leisure: The Basis of Renewal
By Brad Bursa
Two Thinkers, One Counterintuitive Approach Evangelizing structures change. They must and they do. The Second Vatican Council emphasizes that the Church’s very nature is missionary and that she exists to reveal the mystery of Jesus Christ in every generation.[1] In order for evangelization to be fruitfully carried out in any age, the Church must... Read more
Accompaniment in Truth and Charity: The Path to Authentic Freedom
By Sr. Mary Madeline Todd, OP
Carved in stone above the courtyard entry to our Congregation’s founding educational institution are the words (in Latin on one side and English on the other): to give truth is the greatest charity. For the six years I taught at that school, it was not lost on me that this is a radical and controversial statement in our world today. When we think... Read more

Pages

Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now